Working With Kettle Dyed Yarn

Unintentional Color Blocking

All the wonderful tones and depth of color we love in small batch, kettle dyed yarn can result in some unintentional color blocks when several matching skeins are used. It can mean a bit of planning when working with multiple skeins of the same color.

Dye Lots

All of our yarns have a dye lot assigned based upon it’s “pot siblings”. Meaning they all came from the same dye pot, so should be very similar color wise.

All orders placed for multiple skeins of the same yarn, will be sent from the same dye lot. If you have a skein already, we can try to match the dye lot or, you can return it and swap it for one in a concurrent dye lot.

Why dye lots aren’t always a guarantee of 100% matching color:

  • Several things can impact the color uptake and saturation on any given skein. Wool is essentially hair. It can be different from one skein to another based on lots of variables including the sheep’s age, diet, weather exposure, etc. The dyeing process itself can be impacted by heat, water changes, and even where it is sitting in the dye pot. Much like human hair, dying can sometimes result in unexpected outcomes.

How to be sure all your skeins blend beautifully:

  • There are several ways to make this happen. The most common is to rotate skeins every two rows to visually breakup any inconsistencies. Googling “alternating skeins in knitting” will give you loads of information and videos for doing this in flat or circular knitting. If your skeins appear to match very well to the naked eye, you can try swatching a bit from one and then joining the next to see if they blend seamlessly. Or you can try alternating just the last few rows of one skein with the beginning few rows of the next skein.

Color Fastness

Assuring our dyes don’t run or bleed is something we take VERY seriously. This is not something we ever want to hear has happened with our yarns and so far, we have not had this reported to us with any of our dyes in the past. There are a couple of things that we have learned can possibly cause some issues with decreasing color fastness.

Water Temperature

  • When soaking your yarn, do not allow the water temperature to be too warm. Lukewarm to the touch should be sufficient. If the water gets too hot, the dyes can sometimes be effected.

Perfumed/Scented Soap

  • Some perfumes in soaps and non-rinse soaps can sometimes have an effect on the ph balance or acidity level of the dyes enough to cause them to release.

Recommended Soaking Directions

  • Soak your item in lukewarm (just warm to the touch, not hot) water for 20-30 minutes. If you like, use a gentle no-rinse wash in unscented. Remove from the water gently and roll in a large, absorbent bath towel. Gently stand on the towel to get the most water squeezed from your item. Lay out flat to dry, hand or pin blocking as required.
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